C.L.R. James and Creolization: Circles of Influence

By Nicole King | Go to book overview

PREFACE

When I began reading and writing about C. L. R. James ten years ago, I found him a compelling subject because his lived experience and published works suggested concrete links between literature and political struggle against imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism. His friendships, associations, and collaborations shed light on the convergences and divergences of intellectual and grassroots activities practiced within the black diaspora. Although my training has been explicitly in the analysis and interpretation of literature, these pursuits have only held meaning and relevance for me insofar as I could use such analyses and interpretation to expose and discuss issues of political importance. In C. L. R. James, therefore, I found a fascinating, if not a perfect, model.

In my early research on James, I was struck by how certain assessments of his work saw his forays into fiction as finite, and as antecedent and subordinate to his activities and writings as a socialist and political theorist (see, for example, Robert Hill's essay “In England 1932–1938”). For my part, I recognized James's affinity for fiction and narrative in nearly everything he wrote but especially in his speeches and in the book-length works Beyond a Boundary, The Black Jacobins, and Mariners, Renegades, and Castaways: Herman Melville and the World We Live In; in these texts, he seemed to like nothing better than to tell a story. In the years since C. L. R. James's death in 1989, there has developed a significant body of scholarship that has sought to introduce his ideas to new publics and to bring to light his large body of unpublished works. C. L. R. James and Creolization also seeks new interpretive communities for James. By asking questions of James through the use of literary, historical, and biographical paradigms, I

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C.L.R. James and Creolization: Circles of Influence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • C.L.R. James and Creolization 1
  • Mapping Creolization 3
  • Double or Nothing - The Two Black Jacobins 30
  • Framing Community - Minty Alley, La Rue Cases Negres, and Class Consciousness 52
  • Factions and Fictions - Considerations of the “negro Question” 78
  • Family Matters - Nation, Federation, Integration 102
  • Metaphors of Nationalism - Music, Sport, and Racial Representation 118
  • Coda 143
  • Notes 145
  • Works Cited 153
  • Index 165
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